Raise the Woof

It’s Tuesday… and time to share our Pinterest Challenge project! I missed the last Challenge, so when Kate, Katie, Sherry, and Michelle announced this round, I couldn’t wait.  We had really hoped to complete our upholstered headboard in time, but because of our family vacation and my new job, we had to scale it back a bit.  Instead, we decided that at least a few (furry) members of our family could end up with shiny, new beds!

We’ve been eyeballing elevated dog beds for a while for our puppies, Indy and Rosie. They spend their days in the back yard while we’re at work, but have no real place to lay that’s up off the ground and cool.  The catch is that quality raised dog beds are expensive and we have two dogs = twice as expensive.

So when I saw this pin showing how a rescue shelter in Columbus, Ohio makes homemade dog beds for their puppies, I knew we had to make them for our girls!

Here’s how ours turned out.

DIY Raised PVC Dog Bed - Little House. Big Heart.

For one dog bed, we used:

  • Two 1″ sticks of PCV pipe ($8)
  • Four elbows with side drain ($8)
  • Four 1″ -3/4″ threaded male adapters ($2)
  • Box of self tapping lathe screws ($6)
  • 1 yard of turquoise duck canvas ($11)

for a grand total of $35. Compared to the $85 above, it’s a steal!

The process for building the beds is really simple and is shown in the video on the rescue shelter’s website, but in case you’re reading this at work and can’t watch the video, we’ll share a quick breakdown of the steps.

  1. Cut your PVC to length. We wanted a 2’2″ x 3′ rectangle (because that would fit best with the fabric size we had), so we cut two of each sized piece using a hacksaw (and a resident Adirondack chair with an adorable fret pattern pillow… wonder who made that?). We also cut four 6″ legs out of some 3/4″ PVC.
  2.  Assemble the PVC components into a rectangle. You may have to tap it with a rubber mallet to get all the pieces to seat all the way into each other. You might also have to tweak it a little to get it to sit squarely on the floor. When you have all the pieces assembled, it should look like this.
  3. Turn your frame upside down on the canvas. You should have about four inches extending on all sides of the frame. We bought two colors of duck canvas for our dog beds, one for each girl. We choose canvas because we thought it would be more durable (since these beds will be living outside. The colors match some other outdoor projects we have going on at the moment (which I’ll be posting on later this week). Fievel, for one, really digs the turquoise and green.
  4. Fold the corners of the fabric up under the frame and fold each side over twice (this is much more clear in the video).
  5. Roll the fabric over the PVC and secure with the lathe screw. Be very careful with this part. It’s best to have a second person help you at this point as it’s very difficult to hold the canvas tight and use the drill. Even then, fingers may get smashed and solid oak original hardwood floors could get dented. Ok, fingers did get smasheded and our floor did get dented (*tear*), but we learned our lesson, moved to the rug, and kept fingers way out of the way.

  6. When all sides of the fabric have been attached, roll each PVC pipe in towards the center of the bed to tighten the fabric (again, this is shown better on the video. It will need to be fairly taught to support the weight of your puppies (especially if they’re 85-lb chunka-monkas like ours).

Finally, add a dog and let them enjoy! We love these beds because they keep our girls off the dusty, hot ground, they can be hosed off, and won’t stay wet long after a rain or good scrubbing like a traditional dog bed would (please ignore the blurry picture below… we were laughing at Indy).

DIY Raised PVC Dog Bed Indy- Little House. Big Heart.

Plus, the colors are going to look pretty darn good in our new back yard (once we get it finished)!

Did you participate in the Pinterest Challenge this go around? What did you make? Where do your puppies spend their days while you’re at work?


    • littlehousebigheart says:

      We really wanted one when we first moved in together, but waited until we bought the house so they’d have some running room (especially since we both wanted big dogs).

      They were sleeping on it when we left for work this morning. :)

  1. denverdietrich says:

    These are so great! Did the dogs take to them pretty fast? Our girls love pillows so I’m not sure if they would be adventurous enough to get up on these and stay on them. I might have to try it!

  2. Valerie says:

    Ooh, this is great! I have two dogs that are about to be really happy you shared this! Also… Love the pic of your dog sacked out on her new bed. Sweet!

  3. Sadie says:

    Hey. Love this project. I went out and bought the supplies. Question – Is there a easy way to screw the male adapter to the elbow piece? It seems really tight. Thanks.


  4. Kat says:

    I bought a nap cot from a day care that was closing. Most of the work was done and only cost me $10. Just to throw in another option for the frame…

  5. Cande Buyuklu says:

    This is great!! I looked at the framed dog beds when I first got my puppy but as you mentioned, they are horribly expensive. This is a wonderful way to get Rocket up off the floor and still have a really nice bed. He presently sleeps on an old crib mattress which is the only “bed” that will fit but it would be nicer to have him off the floor as well. He’s a huge German Shepherd (weighs 125 pounds) and even the extra large beds are often too small. This is ideal because I can make it the size I need. Thanks for this great project, am anxious to give it a try!!

  6. Kerri Smith says:

    Hi, I am wondering how do you keep the pipe from rolling back inward without using plumbers(PVC) glue(stinky and toxic) once the pet goes to lay on the bed?

    • Jessica Beals says:

      The weight of the dogs actually helps the joints to seat together better. And the joints are tighter than you might imagine… we had to break out a rubber mallet to get some of them to seat fully.

      Oh, and the screw you hold the canvas down with help to secure them a little, too.

      Good luck!

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